It is wrong to argue that Africa should still be investing in traditional manufacturing sectors based on the idea that somehow this will give African countries the experience to "learn" how to industrialize. There is little opportunity in "old" industries where useful learning can occur in the age of disruptive digital manufacturing. In fact, it may only serve to lock certain countries into dead-end manufacturing sectors.


Q: Answers in this link said "where" referred to "opportunity", but I don't understand. I personally think it should refer to "industries" because they are close, also it makes no sense for sth occurring in opportunity. Am I right?

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    I agree with the posters on Wordreference who say that it would be much better expressed as little opportunity... for useful learning to occur. Oct 21, 2022 at 14:53

1 Answer 1


"Where" refers to "opportunities".

Although "industries" is closer, and "opportunities" isn't a place, it only works semantically if "where" refers to "opportunities".

The sentence reworded looks like this:

In "old" industries, there is little opportunity where useful learning can occur in the age of disruptive digital manufacturing.

In this form, it roughly means, "You can't learn a lot in old industries because digital manufacturing is disrupting everything". That makes perfect sense.

But If we understand it the other way, and "where" refers to "industries", it means something like, "Useful learning occurs in the "old" industries, so there's little opportunity there". This alone is nonsense, but further it means, "This learning happens in "old" industries because we're in a modern age". That too is nonsense.

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